Steve Boileau participated in sports like hockey, soccer, and football while attending Fort High, but he’s kept up with squash at his current school, the University of Waterloo.
Boileau, who is studying geological engineering (a combination of civil engineering and geology) in his second year at Waterloo, saw an enhanced role on the squash team after battling the effects of Crohn’s disease for the last couple of years.
He competed in two tournaments in the first semester, but will have to wait until 2011-12 to get a shot in the OUA showdown. That’s because Boileau is set to embark on a four-month internship in Calgary and will miss the provincial championships.
Boileau reflected on playing with the Sunset Country Squash Club with coaches Bob and Mary-Beth Tkachuk, lauding the pair for doing a “super job.”
But moving up a level, he observed the changes he’s made under Waterloo head coach Clive Porter.
“When I played juniors, I beat guys just by being in shape,” Boileau recalled. “Now, everyone’s technically really good.
“The coach there [Porter], he’s been doing it forever,” he noted. “He’s 65 and still going, and beating a lot of the first-year guys that come onto the team.
“He takes your stroke and just breaks it down. Every little thing changes just to make you better.”
Boileau said he’s been squaring off against a number of players he remembers from his junior days since the Tkachuks would try to get the local contingent down to southern Ontario from time to time.
In Boileau’s program, which alternates four months in school and four months in co-op, training can be difficult, although he is afforded more opportunities to play in his down time.
For example, this winter he will be away during the competitive high season but return in the summer when there are no university tournaments.
“In the fall, there are a couple of tournaments, but in the winter, there are two bigger ones and then the OUA tournament for all the universities,” Boileau explained.
“All the guys on the team will go to city tournaments,” he noted. “They’ll go to Toronto or Windsor for a club’s tournament.
“Everything’s an hour drive. It’s completely different than living up in Fort Frances,” he stressed.
As for his schooling, Boileau expects to specialize in an field where he’ll have to work with rocks—an area he has covered in co-op sessions with drilling companies.
Still, he’s excited for the opportunity to do something a little different in Alberta as he’ll be working in the oilsands.
“I’ve learned about the hard rock geology and now I’ll learn about the oil industry a little bit,” he enthused.